Memories Of Reading

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Good Morning! It’s raining here, which means the discomfort of yesterday has turned into misery today, but that’s okay as I’m here to feel it. Another reminder to push harder to create the circumstances where I can move.

This morning also brought up a couple of interesting things I thought I would share, regarding the aftermath of getting hit by lightning. Let me preface by saying yet again, I am blessed. I am alive, and the issues I have are truly minor compared to others. That said, they are my issues and therefore of import to me.

Over on Twitter, Christopher DiNote tagged myself and others in a post asking if we knew that J.R.R. Tolkien read and admired certain authors. I was flattered to be in the company cited, and reached for my memories of the topic — and nothing. I remember that he was well read, and vaguely remember that I had been a bit surprised at some, but that’s it. What’s worse, I realized that my memories of reading both some of his works and some of the other authors cited is gone.

Well, maybe not gone, as the wonderful people at RHI tell me they are still in there, but the brain just doesn’t know where they are right now. The best analogy I have for it, still, is that if you think of my memory as a room full of filing cabinets, I’ve had somebody come in, go to some of the cabinets at random, pull a drawer or two at random from each, dump them on the floor, then cut on an industrial fan. There’s probably a better digital analogy out there using directory files, but… The brain doesn’t know where things are located now.

Sometimes, when exploring topics, things pop up and the brain goes Ah Ha! For example, in the Nuclear series John Donovan and I were talking about the Norwegian heavy water raid, and I was pulling a blank on both a book and a movie. Being a wise and kind man, John actually worked with me to spark some of that, and I got a bit of memory back. Thank you John! BTW, the movie is Heroes of Telemark (though I could have sworn it was Richard Widmark instead of Kirk Douglas), and the book was The Winter Fortress. Both recommended.

Other times, well, those sort of bite. You really do hope for that spark, that connection, and a restoration. Especially when it comes to things I’ve read. I honestly don’t know how many books I’ve read, other than a lot. From something done before the lightning strike, back about ten or so years ago, there was an estimate that it was in excess of two thousand books. Then again, my personal library used to have about that many books in it, though I donated my aerospace library to Purdue University Special Collections when I thought I was headed to Afghanistan. Still have a few hundred other books left, mostly in storage alas.

For a while after the strike and then the open-heart surgery, I read some new books and had an interesting experience. When I re-read them (no money for new books as a general rule), I didn’t remember significant chunks of them. It was almost as if I was reading them again for the first time. Disconcerting, but at the same time I decided to view it as fun and a totally new read without having to spend more money.

The thing that got me this morning, though, was realizing that I don’t remember some of the Tolkien stories mentioned, and I don’t remember some of the other authors he read. The names sort-of ring a bell, and I have the strangest feeling that I know them, but I can’t remember them or their writing. I think I’m going to have to see what I can find online from them to read to see if it pops a memory back into place. If not, I’m going to enjoy reading some “new” Tolkien stories and maybe find some others to enjoy as well. Create some new good memories if you will. Definitely would love to get and read the book by Dr. Ordway he mentions.

Unrelated, but interesting (at least to me) is experiencing a phenomena I’d read about but never expected to experience first hand. The upper half of my hearing in my right ear is gone. The nerves for those upper frequencies are dead and gone. As I’ve said before, it’s one of the more interesting things to deal with as it changes how things sound, as well as being able to triangulate in on the source of a sound.

Recently, listening to some music from my youth, I discovered that when I wore headphones and it was a tune to which I had truly listened (or at least heard multiple times), the brain appeared to be trying to “fill in” that missing sound. Interesting, and enjoyable as not being able to hear those frequencies has dimmed my enjoyment in listening to music a bit.

However, I also discovered that the brain is apparently trying to do it more often than I realized. There have been several times recently when I thought I heard a radio or the television on low upstairs. They were not on. In stopping and concentrating, I realized that the brain was taking elements of white noise, such as the rotating column fan in my room, and adding to them as if they were more complex sounds. We see and hear because of extrapolation by our brain, and in this case it was extrapolating from those base sounds something more that wasn’t really there. Interesting, and once I figured it out I could tune it out.

Probably not something you were interested in, or was a bit much to share, but a fun ramble for me on a dreary day. More soon.

2 thoughts on “Memories Of Reading”

  1. Some of your descriptions sound like “brain fog”, as people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and long COVID experience (among others). Low dose naltrexone and/or low dose Abilify can help. If you were to try one, I’d try LDN first. Feel free to write for details.

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